Catholic Distance University

De virtute cannibalismi

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

For Reverend Bruno Mary Shah, O.P.
Ordained to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
May 29, 2009

Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

“Setting aside the moral question for a moment . . .”

“What do you mean setting it aside?”

“ . . . we can be as lucid as the Master from Aquino.”

“Is lucidity the primary virtue in such a question? I ask myself!”

“For me, lucidity is greatly facilitated by a rested mind and a full stomach.” [Read more...]

Beads

John Savoie

The beads zoom by swift as halo-
gen lights hung above the highway
tracing the broad curve of night, [Read more...]

Praise Song on a Summer Night

Mary Ann Honaker

She stood in front of the congregation
dress as flat and straight as an ironing board
touching the floor. Her arms were wooden
crosses driven into the mound of a grave
and gravely she said
her nephew, a teenager,
was dead [Read more...]

Harry Ploughman

Nick Ripatrazone

After Gerard Manley Hopkins

With a fountain’s shining shot furls,

palm and heel of hand flit, muscle-
	skin fraps, fanted speed;
	erumpent swing, and here
	arm falcated;
	eolian;
	feet-base edaphic, each bend
	a camber: wait, carmine 
	and cerise: wait, what breath
	of body becomes chaff, skin,
	abraded toward soil-on-bone.

Restoring the Fresco of Progress

Wilfred M. McClay

We have become uneasy with the very concept of progress. We are not prepared to give it up entirely; that would be nearly inconceivable. Peel away the ironic surface of even the most insouciant postmodern pose, and you find revealed, startling as a ghost, some brightly colored and long-forgotten fresco, a gaudy metanarrative of progress still silently at work, shaping our choices of ends and means and norms. There are many such hidden frescoes still at work today. The West is still remarkably committed to the idea of purposive action, and resistant to the lure of fatalism, perhaps because rebellion against the binding power of necessity forms the very core of Western identity. [Read more...]

SS. Peter and Paul 2009

Feature

Restoring the Fresco of Progress  Wilfrid M. McClay

Essays

What is Art? Part 1 of “On the Vocation of the Christian Artist”  Eileen Cunis

Fiction

The Funeral  Dena Hunt

De virtute cannibalismi  Eleanor Bourg Donlon

The Ninth Floor  Tony France

Poetry

Excelsior Unincorporated  Joseph O’Brien

Illinois Farmers  Michael Lee Johnson

Rod Stroked Survival with a Deadly Hammer  Michael Lee Johnson

Praise Song on a Summer Night  Mary Ann Honaker

Cambridge Commons  Mary Ann Honaker

The Sight  Mary Ann Honaker

Incarnation (corrected)  Kate Bluett

to remember october  Rachel Kondro

Beads  John Savoie

Habenera  Andrew Thornton-Norris

Gethsemane  Mark Amorose

Confessions  Nick Ripatrazone

Harry Ploughman  Nick Ripatrazone

Roman April  Meredith Wise

Interviews

“Paradise with a Serpent”: An Interview with Carlos Eire  Bernardo Aparicio García and Katy Carl

Art and Prose

Wisconsin Baroque, Priests, and Paper Architecture  Matthew Alderman

Art and Photography

Cora  James Dean Erickson

Seven  James Dean Erickson

Fast Eddie  James Dean Erickson

Jimmy Wood  James Dean Erickson

 

The Ninth Floor

Tony France

Johnny Pryor followed a group of tourists into a Chinatown labyrinth of contraband. The travellers had arrived from various continents, their itineraries mysteriously converging on this dank warren where they rummaged through boxes loaded with fakes. Johnny rummaged through the tourists, bumping, lightly jostling, smiling through curt apologies. A man wearing black evening clothes and a high hat stood amidst a thousand watch faces all showing the wrong time. Johnny caught a glimpse of Roman numerals marking a different hour. He longed for a truer epoch, one he associated with catalogue illustrations of families gathered together to exchange gifts in seasonal ritual. [Read more...]

The Funeral

Dena Hunt

The car’s heater stopped when she turned off the engine, of course, and a chill went up her right arm as soon as she took the key out of the ignition. The car had become warm as toast on the drive from home; it shouldn’t get so cold that fast. She decided it was the leaves from the pecan tree swirling around in the parking lot. It looked cold, so obviously, she had suddenly felt cold. That was it. That and the silence, of course. Silence sounds cold, she reflected. [Read more...]

What Is Art?

Eileen Cunis

Introduction

In his 1999 Letter to Artists, Pope John Paul II recognized and honored the unique place the artist holds in the Church and in the human community. The artist, writes the Pope, is given by God “a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power.” Despite the insurmountable difference between the infinite and eternal God and finite man, “the human craftsman mirrors the image of God as Creator.” It is through his contemplation of the wonder of his gift that the artist apprehends its meaning: [Read more...]

“Paradise with a Serpent:” An Interview with Carlos Eire

Bernardo Aparicio García and Katy Carl

Carlos Eire is now a distinguished history professor at Yale University, but in 1959 he was an eight-year-old boy living in Havana who went by the name of Carlos Nieto. His 2003 memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, winner of the National Book Award, tells the story of that transformation. I first heard of Eire shortly after graduating from college in 2005, when I was thinking of pursuing graduate studies in history. At that time I was intrigued by the title of his memoir—it reminded me of my own snow-deprived childhood in Colombia. I almost picked up the book a year or two later when it was chosen as the featured title for the One Book, One Philadelphia reading project, but other work and other reading prevented me from getting around to it until this spring. [Read more...]

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